Image Credit source: PSL
Before IPL 2022, many England cricketers had distanced themselves from this tournament. This happened because of the focus on Test cricket. There was also pressure from the England board on the players.
England fast bowler Shakib Mahmood (Saqib Mahmood) refused to be a part of IPL 2022. He had an offer to join an IPL team as a replacement player. Saqib Mahmood instead played in county cricket with Lancashire (Lancashire) so that they can play for the England Test team (England Cricket Team) to strengthen their claim to be a part of. The 25-year-old made his Test debut in the series against West Indies in March 2022. Here he took six wickets at an average of 22.83. Saqib Mahmood is a swing bowler and also has the ability to reverse swing with the old ball. He has also played 19 ODI-T20 matches for England.
Talking about turning down the IPL offer, Saqib Mahmood said in a conversation with ESPNcricinfo, ‘I turned down the IPL offer to play for Lancashire and pursue my red ball claim. We got an offer when we were on a Caribbean tour. I had to make a decision. I asked some people around me and agreed that it is better to focus on red ball cricket now. Hopefully this will give a special look to my Test playing ambition and I can do that by performing for Lancashire.
Saqib did not reveal the name of the IPL team
Saqib Mahmood, however, did not name the IPL team whose offer came to him. However, he said that he had spoken to Ben Stokes before taking the decision. Stokes had also distanced himself from this year’s IPL due to his Test career. He was released by Rajasthan after IPL 2021. According to Saqib,
This was my decision. It’s funny because it was helped by a conversation with Ben Stokes over breakfast one morning. I asked him why he didn’t go for IPL and he said that he wants to give priority to the red ball and want to be a part of the team. I got a call the same day. It was a coincidence but the timing of that call was right for me as I spoke to Stokes in the morning of the same day. He would have got crores of rupees in IPL but he wants to take his team forward. I have the same passion and want to be a part of the Test team.
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